Putin gets even with China

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.30 - 2023 12:21 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin gets even with China.

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Russia and China, partners in many spheres, often collaborate on numerous economic projects and support each other geopolitically.

However, there are instances when Moscow and Beijing act to the detriment of their partner. Notably, Beijing's recent shift away from Russian engines for its new fighter jets did not sit well with Moscow. According to Chinese observers, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently found an opportunity to settle scores with China and took it, as reported by NetEase according to AB News.

"Russia can rejoice. It has been revealed that Iran will not be purchasing Chinese J-10 fighters," Chinese analysts shared.

NetEase authors noted that China had big plans with Iran, expecting to sign a contract for the supply of Chinese J-10 fighters. However, reports emerged that the deal would not materialize, with Tehran allegedly reconsidering and opting for another aviation technology supplier. These rumors were later confirmed. Iran declined the J-10 and instead agreed with Russia to supply Su-35 fighters, Mi-28 attack helicopters, and Yak-130 jet trainers.

"The Su-35 contract is the first instance in the last 40 years where Iran has purchased a fighter jet from a foreign state. But why did Tehran choose the Russian aircraft over the Chinese J-10?" NetEase observers wonder.

In China, it's believed that the decision was based on the aircraft's characteristics. The J-10 is a medium-sized, single-engine fighter with a low price, excellent overall performance, but limited range and payload. The Su-35, on the other hand, is a different caliber. It's a twin-engine heavy fighter, almost twice as expensive as its Chinese counterpart, with a greater range and payload capacity.

"Iran, a large country surrounded by powerful enemies, really needs fighters with a larger operational radius. From this perspective, the Su-35 is indeed the better choice for Iran," Chinese analysts believe.

NetEase authors admit that China was somewhat bewildered and even offended that Russia secured this order. However, emotions quickly settled, and it became clear that Russia won in a fair competitive fight. It can also be said that Russia got even with China for the latter's rejection of Russian engines.

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